Cebu needs to work to keep IT talents: Damarillo

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CEBU has the potential to be the next Silicon Valley but it must deal with the movement of its talented workers to Manila and abroad and improve its marketing as a technology hub, an information technology entrepreneur said Friday.

Winston Damarillo, one of the founders of G2iX and its chief executive officer, said that because of its geography, weather and quality of life, Cebu has the makings of a technology center.

Damarillo also said local companies are cooperative with industry undertakings and there is a good partnership with the academe through such initiatives as the Cebu Educational Development Foundation for IT (Cedfit).

Winston Damarillo talks during DevCon Visayas
TECH ENTREPRENEUR Winston Damarillo, G2ix chief executive officer, talks to students and software developers during the opening of DevCon Visayas in the G2ix Tech Bar in the IT Park in Lahug, Cebu City. Damarillo says he wants to make technical conferences a regular event in Cebu.

Damarillo said Cebu has a lot of IT talents and his companies will expand more here rather than in Manila. Among the undertakings of G2ix are Exist, MaestroDev, and Morph Labs.

“We need to solve big problems here. We need to bring in big projects,” Damarillo said in an interview at the sideline of DevCon Visayas.

Damarillo cited as example Morph Labs, a cloud computing service provider run by local talents.

He said one thing that can help improve the talent pool in Cebu is the holding of technical conferences like DevCon Visayas. He said developers learn a lot if they are shown how software projects were done in technical and informal conferences like DevCon.

“You might say that it’s a hard project but then when you are shown how it’s done, you’d find it’s actually easy,” he said.

Damarillo said DevCon Visayas, held Friday at the G2ix Tech Bar at the IT Park, exceeded their expectations.

Diane Suico, Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA) marketing program director, said they expected only 70 participants but those who attended exceeded 300 persons.

Damarillo said he will be organizing more DevCons in other areas of the country like Davao City. Suico said they are also looking into other areas of the Visayas.

Damarillo said he will make DevCon a regular event in Cebu. He also said he will be setting up a training center in Cebu to help improve the capabilities of local IT developers on Java, Ruby and rich Internet applications.

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5 Comments

  1. Jhay,
    Right. But cities outside Manila should also work hard to attract locators and provide jobs for its residents. Mr. Damarillo says it’s almost a Catch-22— you need to attract companies to hire your residents so that you can keep your good workers but then your workers are continuing to leave for other areas that offer better-paying jobs.
    But I think it’s a spiral that can be stopped, if stakeholders work together in an effective way.

  2. Can i agree? The Visayan islands are exceptional…not only on economics nor tourism, but YES too on people. Geographically situated, no wonder it has the “IT” factor – the skills and talents. Call them that’s luck or better linkage.

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